In a major move, apparently with an eye on the next year's elections, the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday decided to pay a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 each to unemployed youth in the state.
The decision is expected to put an additional burden of Rs 8,000 crore on the state exchequer, already reeling under a huge fiscal deficit.
The state cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, decided to implement the scheme for unemployed who hold degree or diploma and are aged between 22 and 35 years.
Cabinet Minister Nara Lokesh told reporters after the meeting that registration of unemployed under the scheme will begin in third or fourth week of the current month. He announced that within 15 days after the registration, allowance money will be credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
“12 lakh youth in the 22-35 years age group will be benefitted through the scheme. Registration for enrolling into the scheme will start from either third or fourth week of August. It will be extended to all eligible members even if there is more than one in the family. The scheme won’t be applicable to those paying provident fund. We will implement the scheme in a very transparent manner like pension scheme. The money will be credited directly into bank accounts through biometric authentication,” Lokesh told reporters.
“Simultaneously, we will impart skill development and train the youth in the fields of their interests. Also, by integrating state and central schemes, we will roll out apprenticeship programme through which the youth can get on-job training and upgrade their skills,” he added.
Lokesh, who is son of the Chief Minister, said the allowance would be paid irrespective of the number of unemployed in a family.
He said the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government decided to implement the scheme despite the fiscal deficit. With this, the ruling party will be fulfilling a promise made in its election manifesto in 2014.
The Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh are scheduled to be held along with Lok Sabha polls in 2019.